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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six #7

It’s the last day of Winter today, which means that a girl’s thoughts automatically turn to getting her nugs out. I for one have barely been able to think of anything else (except for the usual gin/cheese/man-bits trinity of course). The producers of this glorious, ridiculous show seem to agree – there’s barely a moment in the hour where somebody’s frilly smalls aren’t in view, and even then it’s all top hats, legwarmers and stockings with punctuation printed on them.

So sit back, relax, and hoik your puppies up to your chin. It’s the ‘Six Girls, Twelve Cups’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Lift and separate.

Skin-Tight Budget

• Pffft. For the photo shoot this week, the production budget couldn’t even stretch to cover NEW underwear! The modules had to wear ‘vintage’ lingerie. Which is what I’m now calling those big undies I have in the back of my drawer with holes in them that I wear on wash days when I’m single. Which is clearly and unsurprisingly, judging by that sentence, a lot of the time.

Me Talky Proper And That

Grammar and sentence structure, only one of you will continue on to become something appearing on this show.
 • After her yoga lesson, Joanna announces “I think I did better than I thought I’d do, because I only fell over two or three times”. See, fall over two or three times in an office job? Sit alone at lunch. Fall over two or three times during a breath-test? Go to jail. Fall over two or three times whilst walking a tightrope over crocodile-infested waters? Be awesome and die. Fall over two or three times during a modelling lesson? SUCCESS! Modelling is so hard, you guys.

• When Sophie doesn’t win the challenge, she delicately itemises her reasons by saying to her boyfriend on the phone “The only reason I didn’t fuckin’ win is because my hair is so short”. After a long pause, he offers her some truly romantic and touching support by reciting a poem to her, which starts with the line “Yeah, that’s pretty gay”. It’s enchanting, is what it is.

• About to go on a trip, Kelsey says to camera “Before we even got in the cars, I shot-gunned the front seat”. FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY, CAN YOU GIRLS STOP TALKING ABOUT CRAPPING YOURSELF FOR ONE SECO… oh. Oh, I see. That’s a thing. Pardies.

• On the way into the Eliminarium, Joanna says that “I don’t feel overly confident, but I don’t feel not confident either”. Which is exactly the same thing as just shutting the fuck up altogether, but with more words.


This week’s lesson is all about learning how not to gasp when you see Charlotte Dawson with her legs in the air, Josh Flinn in a white top hat, or the outline of Shiny Alex Perry’s oddly hairless nipples. And also sort of about fitness.

• Our darling scrags are sent off two by two, ark-style, to different fitness lessons. Sophie and Kathryn meet Shiny Alex Perry at the gym, where we see him working out, completely oblivious to the film crew in that wacky way that people so often are. I don’t know what the girls learn, but I found it extremely educational – I now know that there are three things you need to bring with you to the gym:

1. Your sunglasses.

2. A robust, trophy-worthy squint, rendering sight almost impossible.

3. No hair whatsoever except on your face. Seriously. This man is Greek. He must spend more time getting waxed than I do breathing air.

Blue balls also come in handy.

Kathryn says that “As soon as we walked in we get to see Alex in person, instead of behind a big scary desk”. What, you don’t find a Bonds singlet clinging to the areola of a shaved squinting man just a little terrifying? *

• Sophie is impressed with Shiny Alex’s guns, saying they’re “ripped as”. She’s also really quite impressed with her own guns, introducing them to us with “You know, my guns are really big. They’re so big, I’ve named them. This is Des and Troy – together we destroy”. SOPHIE MADE A FUNNY, YOU GUYS. Again and again and again, she made it. And again.

• Charlotte takes Jessica and Joanna through some yoga poses in a Chinese garden, and despite Joanna being worried that she was going to fall over, all three loidies prove to be quite flexible and zenny indeed. I learned a few things during this lesson too – for example, this pose is called the Maybe-Chickpeas-For-Lunch-Was-A-Bad-Idea-Asana.


Now, I know that watching three fit birds breathe in and out with their eyes closed should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by a blank space where something interesting used to be.

• Amanda and Kelsey get easily the best fitness assignment, as they have to go and JOSH IS WEARING A TOP HAT AND LEG-WARMERS AND I AM DEAD. Nuh-uh. Yuh-huh. Yes he is.

The cat in the hat in some spats and he taps.

 He tells the girls that the three most desirable traits in a model are grace, elegance and balance, by which he obviously means top hats, leg-warmers and spotty trousers. Then he says “Pop on your shoes and grab your top hats”, which is clearly the best thing anyone has ever said ever. I might say it at the beginning of meetings from now on.

He leads the girls through a tap routine that he’s choreographed especially, and when he utters the phrase “Shuff-le ball change, shuff-le step tap”, I’m transported instantly back to my early teens when I used to tap dan... er, when I used to snort coke and kill people. Taappa tappa tappa, friends. Taappa tappa tappa.

Clearly Amanda's stockings are swearing on her behalf.

Amanda and Kelsey get a bit silly and make up their own steps, but even in all the shoulder-wiggling, krumping, top-hat-flinging madness, I still managed to learn something in this lesson, too.
Always find your light.

Also, is anyone else not surprised at all that Josh can tap dance? That just makes sense for so many reasons. Carry on.


I don’t want to alarm anyone, but this week’s challenge was actually... well, challenging. Except for the looking-at-Kris-Smith thing. That bit was pretty easy.

• Saint Sarah and Dannii Minogue’s missus, Kriis Smiith, front up to meet the scrags at the Metro theatre. The girls are told that they’ll be working for a “major international client” (which is true), and performing with a “major international rock band”, (which is a goddamn lie). Evermore are from New Zealand. They’re international like horse-racing is a sport. They do, however, have accents that make me giggle, so I’ll cut ‘em a break.

• The challenge is to dance in Bonds awesome new tube bras** in front of a thousand or so people while Evermore sing their top tin hut “Hey Boys And Girls”, which they have to change to “Hey Girls And That One Guy Who Got Dragged Along By His Girlfriend And Is Probably Gay Because Everyone Here Got Invited Because They Signed Up For Tickets On The Top Model Website”.

• Choreographers Anthony and Ashley teach the scrags a routine which mostly consists of gyrating and touching their pink parts, with instructions like “And all you’re gonna do with your hand, you’re gonna go touch, touch, bum, bum”, and I’m transported instantly back to my early teens when... well, let’s just say I didn’t spend the whole time snorting coke and killing people.

• The Evermore guys tell the girls that they’ve “nivver had anyone dunce wuth us on stage buffore”. Or, judging by their albums, anywhere near it.

• I have to admit that the girls look awesome, as do their ‘girls’. *** As Evermore’s “spishal gists”, they bump, grind and roll around on the floor in between talking to the camera about how they don’t usually show that much flesh, and they usually don’t wear underwear without other clothes on top of it. Kathryn says “It’s really different having to go up against girls who have great bodies”. What, you mean like the rest of us do in our lives every single day? Boo-for-fuck’s-sake-hoo, Kathryn.

• Despite Sophie being sure she “has it in the bag” (which would also be a good slogan for bras, come to think of it), Amanda wins the challenge prize, an actual modelling job in an actual Bonds commercial. Kelsey narrowly misses out because, to her surprise, Saint Sarah deems her performance a little too raunchy for the brand. “When was I raunchy?”, asks Kelsey, confused. Um... here, maybe?

This is just Kelsey imagining she's serving a roast at grandma's house. MORE POTATOES, GRANDMA?

She finally gets it, saying “It must have been like, when we had to go down really slowly on the floor”. Yes. Since even the phrase “go down really slowly on the floor” makes me blush and giggle, I’d say that’s probably it.


• Now, if you had just fronted up to the Metro to take part in a massive, potentially career-changing challenge, how would you do your hair? Would you:

a) Put your wig on sideways;

b) Get Neil from the Young Ones and Cousin Itt from the Addams Family together in a dark room and let them sock it out; or

c) Smuggle a pineapple under it and hope nobody notices?


• The modules are rudely awoken in the dead of night by a Sarah Mail instructing them to take their warm clothes and pillows into the Fashion Fiestas and get ready for an overnight stay. Once in the cars, after a long drive, Kelsey says “I woke up when we were at Jindabyne, and that’s when I knew we were going to the snow”. A miner trapped underground in Chile stops eating his freeze-dried snack for a moment, looks up and says “You think?”.

• Josh, in a beanie that is sadly not top-hat-shaped, tells the scrags that today they’ll be modelling vintage lingerie and fur for photographer David Shields, whose name sounds a lot like that of a guy I know who had better buy me a beer for sort of mentioning him. Josh says that it’s up to the girls whether or not they choose to wear the fur, and despite Jessica’s clear distaste for the concept, everyone does. Sophie in particular mentions that “I didn’t have a problem with the fur whatsoever. I guess if I had to kill an animal I wouldn’t wear the fur, but I don’t have to do that, so it didn’t bother me”. So, right, if someone else kills the animal for you, it’s fine? God, that attitude almost makes me spit my steak out onto my leather jacket.

• The shoot takes place in the snow, on haemorrhoid-inducing rocks, branches, and frigid tundra. Due to the early time slot, editors can’t show the modules actually freezing their tits off, but they make do with a superb icy metaphor.

Which is why I love this show.

• David asks Sophie, who has her icy crevice wedged into an icy crevice, to make the face of someone being rescued. I thought perhaps an open, flesh-coloured mouth, but instead she rocks it, making everyone melt in her pelt.

• Jessica looks like an ethereal ice queen, and is welcome over at my house for tequila and philosophical bickering any time.

• Kelsey looks gob-smackingly stunning and softens her face for the first time, but still doesn’t ‘deliver’ in her shots. Huh. I actually made that sound like it means something. Interesting.

• Amanda, sitting in a bush, is asked to try and look like she’s waiting for Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights to come and find her. And she’s sitting in a BUSH. Anyone who doesn’t get the excruciatingly lame irony of this probably just has a life or something. Or maybe he’s asking her to look like she’s dead? Unfortunately, she kind of succeeds. Damn.

• Everyone is pleased with Joanna’s professionalism, but not so much with her shots. Mind you she seems to be bloody good at everything, so she’ll be fine, right? RIGHT?!

• Kathryn does her usual stunning trick of changing from a spotty teenager to a face-meltingly gorgeous module the moment the lens is trained in her direction. She even manages to comply with David’s instruction to “look underneath her eyebrows”. Modelling. Is. So. Hard. You. Guys.


Suddenly back from the snow in that whisking-suddenly-back-from-places way, the girls trickle into the Eliminarium, where they’re confronted by Saint Sarah, who has only just finished buying cardigans for the Animals Who Are Cold Because They’ve Just Been Skinned For Their Pelts Society. Membership is optional.

Saint Sarah mentions the prizes, which I think this year include a spinach-and-feta pizza and a bonsai tree, and then introduces the judges. Guest judge Priscilla Leighton-Clark is there, as is Chest Smith, who silently refers to the mountains the girls have just visited by wearing a deep, deep v-neck (thank you), Shiny Alex Perry, who is no longer forcing me to mention his nipples (thank you), and Charlotte Dawson, who looks like she’s just come straight from a week in the country (thank you).

The judges look through photos and deliberate, and despite Saint Sarah claiming that “I don’t think this panel has ever been this fired up before”, zingers are as rare as Sophie choosing situation-appropriate clothing.

• After a long pause, Shiny Alex finally admits that Sophie’s shot is ‘expensive’. Touchdown, Mark Holden style, for shizzle!

• Sarah mentions that Joanna’s shot is a bit ‘Dynasty’. Charlotte adds that it’s “more like dysentery”. Which, coincidentally, is a lot like Dynasty.

Modules drag themselves back into the room, and Saint Sarah drags her way through names and photos until only… wait. What? UNTIL ONLY KELSEY AND JOANNA ARE LEFT. Is that right? Now, I know that in profoundly uncharacteristic moments I haven’t always been entirely supportive of these two, but come on. Having them as the bottom two is like Bonanno Pisano trashing his wonky tower because he didn’t think it would attract tourists or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like the director of Transformers not casting Megan Fox because her boobs were too distracting. They sort of belong here and stuff.

Joanna is told that she exudes cool and confidence everywhere but her photos, and Kelsey discovers that her shot disappointed the judges. As did her short, I assume.

In any case, an afternoon passes, and Joanna is pushed off the cliff. Kersplash in an English accent!

Bye, Joanna. Mind you don’t be a complete mystery until you’re eliminated and then I feel robbed on your way out!

Next week, I really, really have to start watching the previews for the following week.

*Don’t get me wrong. Bonds singlets are awesome. In fact, I could do with a free one. Just saying.

**I still don’t really know what a tube bra is, but I know I want a free one.

***Seriously. Bonds. Hit me up with some free bra action, bitches. Come on.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Every Day For A Year #7

(Look, I don't wanna boss you around or tell you what to do or anything, but go catch up on the first six bits of this here. If you want to. In your own time. Right now. Please.)

You know how much fun it is to eavesdrop on conversations? You can find out all sorts of stuff, like who got drunk at the wedding on Saturday, what time people want to be picked up from the train station and why letting your best friend do your piercings is a bad idea.

Our camera-toting compadre Frosty, however, takes things one step further - he lets you eavesdrop on his life. Just for a nanosecond a day, mind you, but that's probably more often than you hear from your grandma.

You may start eavesdropping........................................................................ now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

We're On A Road To Mudgee #4

Day One, Part Three: In which tasty things come in tiny, tiny glasses

After settling into our digs at Bishop’s Court in Bathurst (which I’ll unreservedly gush about later), the willing and amicable co-owner David and his compadre/photographer/good egg Louie drove us to Stone Pine Distillery, clearly because the road trip theme of fermented and/or distilled intoxicants is a strong and relentless one.*

Stone Pine was the first of many buildings we encountered on our trip that made use of local wood, corrugated iron, whimsy and chickens to really let us know we’re in the country – in other words, it’s rustic and charming as all get-out.

From the die-cut metal sign to the found-iron dragon sculpture, we were almost distracted from our primary goal – to taste some boutique hooch. Now, anyone who’s ever met me or read any five words I’ve strung together knows that my two primary loves in life (along with food, music, Wookiees, disdain and man-parts) are beer and gin. So when David told me that Stone Pine make their own gin infused with native citrus and botanicals, Charlotte and I almost got some exercise sprinting towards the cellar door.

Inside, we met Ian the Scot, owner and maker of pure angel’s tears. Now, I just want to check – at any stage today did you have an adorable man with a Scottish accent constantly offering to refresh your glass with all manner of delicious potent nectars? No? I guess Charlotte and I won that round, huh.

After settling in at the rough-hewn, local-wood bar, the tasting began. I must say, if I were allowed to invent tourism awards (and hell, this is my blog, so let’s just say I am), this place would win a bucket-load, primarily 2010 Bar That Most Makes You Want To Slide Shots Along It Just Like In The Movies. In order, we tasted:

1. Wild Lime Vodka. Ian the Scot has a thing for limes. Charlotte asked him if that was why he was wearing a green jumper. Neither of us can remember his answer.

2. Gin made with juniper berries (duh), lemon myrtle, ironbark, river mint, finger lime and wattle seed. This is amazing. I’m fairly hardcore with my gin, with my penchant for extremely dirty martinis and whatnot, but I think even shot-shy folk could enjoy this straight. Half citrusy, half botanical, there’s a sophisticated late-summer cocktail party in my mouth and everyone’s invited.

3. Wild Limecello. Mild. Tangy. Refreshing. Ian the Scot is a total lime-ophile.

4. Bramble Liqueur. A blackberry liqueur that stops the right side of sweet just long enough to settle into the armchair of awesome.

5. Grappa, made with product from Vale Creek wines, the owners of which we were to meet later at dinner. Grappa is for champions of alcohol only.**

On a side note, I’ve always wanted to ask Charlotte Dawson to give me some catwalk tips. On our way back to the car, I can only assume that her advice would have been “Stop walking in a zig-zag and saying ‘woo!’”. That girl really knows her stuff.

On an even sidier note, I have a message for any bartender worth their cocktail onions – get some Stone Pine into your cocktails, quick-sticks. And also save me a seat at the bar.

*And we have absolutely no problem with that.

** Yeah. I mean me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Australia's Next Top Westie Scrag Series Six #6

They say you should never work with children or animals. So that’s pretty much this episode buggered then, isn’t it? There are birds, dogs, teeth, claws, squealing, hissing and things crapping themselves.


I know, I know. You can see some jokes coming from space. Bite me.

Welcome, all, to the ‘Never Smile At A Crocodile, No You Can’t Get Scraggy With A Crocodile’ episode of Australia’s Next Top Model. Please don’t feed the animals.

Skin-Tight Budget

Alligators, snakes, owls and Dalmatians are expensive – any good dog-food manufacturer will tell you that. So for this week’s photo-shoot, when the animal money ran out, producers had to go to the next rung down on the Terrifying And Intimidating Animal ladder and get... yep. A couple of goldfish in a jug. Don’t walk – RUN!

Me Talky Proper And That

• In the aftermath of Kimbo’s departure, Sssophie displays her mad Nostradamus skillz by saying sagely “I knew Kim was gonna go... sometime”. Nice use of the ol’ one-in-sixteen odds there, flesh-mouth. She completes her Understatement Doctorate by adding “I think it’s good she went, she had a pretty bad attitude towards.... life in general”, which is like saying that Francis Bacon dabbles occasionally in slightly dark themes in his paintings or, for the lowbrow amongst you, like remarking that Shane Warne is occasionally mildly partial to text messages, hair loss and cigarettes. Amanda comments that Kimbo’s departure was “like a big wet fish to the face”, and that “she just basically crapped on their professions”, because Amanda is clearly on crystal meth on the toilet. Girl just cannot stop talking about crapping. Or being awesome.

• Brittney cries to her mother on the ‘phone about being in the bottom two last week, and says that she’s “at a low point”. Babe, you’re like, twenty-six feet tall. A low point for you is Everest base camp.

• When the Fashion Fiestas take the girls to a studio for their challenge, Sssophie says “I was so freaking out, ‘cause it was like this massive white room with a camera’. So it’s... so it’s a studio, then.

• When the modules receive a Sarah Mail that reads “Tomorrow the test continues. It will decide the lions from the lambs. Trust your instincts”, Sssophie says “at the end when it said, like, ‘instinct’, we all instantly thought of animals”. You... you don’t think that might have been when it said, like, ‘lions’, and like, ‘lambs’?

• While the scrags are breakfasting on a well-rounded meal of air and delusion, a mystery person arrives to give them some educatin’. Can anyone guess who the mystery person is?

Sigh. Thanks, camera-man. I owe you a neat fiddy.

• Chest Smith whisks the girls off to a photography studio, telling them that he and our old friend Nikola Koke are going to teach them all about knowing their angles and making the most of them in photographs. I’m pretty good at maths, so I assume they’ll mostly be working on their acute angles. No, because see it’s got the word ‘cute’ in it, and it’s about angles and, right, it’s a pun, and oh, shut up. I hate you. The girls remove their make-up with great shining globs of PRODUCT PLACEMENT, and they’re ready for action.

• Nikola tells Brittney that her best feature is “her face in total”, which just seems lazy to me. PICK ONE, NIKOLA. Both he and Chest are pleased that she’s lost her former blank stare, Chest commenting that “up to this point it was just all about long limbs and hair”. God forbid anyone would be known just for one or two particular body parts. Right, Chest Smith?

• In another page torn from the Big Red I Still Don’t Get It Book, Joanna is told her eyes are ‘sublime’, and Nikola says she’s “really quite exceptional, because she’s got big eyes, a big nose, and big lips”. Right. So Joanna has a big face, is what you’re saying. She does okay, but her smiling shot is a disaster. Luckily for her, Joanna doesn’t have a whole lot to smile about in this episode.

• Nikola looks at Kathryn’s skin, borrows Sssophie’s talent for understatement and says “you’ve got a bit of a breakout there”. Yep. Like Cowra had a bit of a breakout. He advises her to stay away from sugars and fats. I just think she should stay away from pimples. Y’know, I bet that Kathryn thinks it’s hilarious that I keep mentioning her pimples every week. Right, Kathryn?

Kathryn laughs on the inside.

• We discover that Kelsey has one eye smaller than the other, just like this competition has one module smaller than the others. She’s given some eye-balancing squinting tips, and despite her obvious deformity that nobody’s noticed until now, does well in her shots.

• Nikola tells Jessica that she has a small chin. He also mentions that grass is green, that cats have kittens, and that ice is cold.

• It’s Amanda’s turn, and Nikola asks “the mouth that you’ve got now, is that the mouth that ends up getting photographed?” Um... no. Amanda keeps some spare mouths in her bag, like Mr Potato Head. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I might keep some extra mouths around myself – they’ll come in handy for talking while I’m eating, beatboxing, and keeping boyfriends. Amanda is given advice like “just work from the nose up” (which is exactly what you’d expect from someone whose surname is ‘Koke’), to keep her mouth neutral (Sssophie has some foundation that could help with that), and to blow raspberries. I figure she could blow her first raspberry at Nikola, who gives her most of this advice after her shoot is over.

• Sophie also has a problem with her mouth. Jez calls it ‘smiling’. I call it ‘Mummy, Can You Please Leave The Light On So The Flesh-Mouthed Monster Won’t Eat Me In My Sleep?’.


The modules are taken to a film studio, where Charlotte Dawson introduces them to Josh Logue, ARIA-award-winning director and oddly endearing round pudgy man. He’s like Justin Bieber fifteen years into the future after an all-cheeseburger diet, but much, much less heinously annoying. Charlotte tell the girls they’ll be auditioning for a Telstra commercial today, the theme of which is ‘the life of the party’, and that four girls will be chosen to appear in the final production. All they have to do is pretend to be men in suits, but feminine men, organise a party-crashing via text message, commandeer a DJ booth and then party like it’s 1999 with the help of a thrust-happy choreographer and some awesome spangly frocks. And they say modelling is complicated. Now, I know that watching a bunch of nervous broads pretending to have penises should be interesting, but I’m momentarily distracted by a hangnail. Well, except for a couple of things:

• While the girls are auditioning, Dawson takes careful and serious notes. You can tell she’s being serious, because she’s wearing spectacles, and everybody who has ever seen a movie about Superman, Wonder Woman, or librarian porn knows that spectacles = serious.

Why, Ms Dawson! Yoi're beautiful!

• Sssophie doesn’t do too badly at impersonating a man, with two minor drawbacks. Let’s see – short hair? Check. Squarely defined jaw? Check.

Great heaving chest-puppies? MALE FAIL.

• Josh asks Jessica if she’s ever aspired to be an actress, and she says that when she was a kid she always wanted to be on Blue Heelers, which I can only assume is a ‘no’.

• Amanda walks across the room in her best bloke impersonation, and then stops and asks “more masculine?”. Josh responds with “Noooo,that’s.. that’s pretty masculine. That’s about as manly as you get without being a man”.

Which is pretty much the opposite of this.

But wait – I get it! Amanda is good at being a man, because her name is A-MAN-DUH! I’m a freakin’ genius, mama. Charlotte’s impressed with her acting skill, saying that she’s previously “been quite stiff”. Stiff! Ha-HA! Because she’s a man, duh. I really need a trophy or something for this shit.

• A group audition ensues with the help of choreographer William, who teaches the girls how to dance. It’s basically step, kick, ball-change, shimmy, step, kick, take-a-look-at-the-underside-of-my-scrotum.

This move is known as the 'Strictly Ballroom'.

• Kelsey, Amanda, Jessica and Brittney are chosen to film the ad, leaving Sssophie, Kathryn and Joanna to just be extras in the background and to be totally supportive and not bitch and sulk and moan not one little bit. Kathryn laments that she’s never won anything in her life, presumably because she’s not counting the genetic lottery. Joanna takes her first time not being praised and chosen particularly well, and in the process strikes a startling resemblance to Neil from The Young Ones.


• The actual ad shoot has a couple of hiccups, despite all four modules wearing frocks I absolutely must own by lunchtime tomorrow:

o Brittney’s hair is big enough to hide Tokyo, and she has to take her heels off so she fits in frame.

o Amanda is wearing a notoriously constrictive Shiny Alex Perry corset, and finds it hard to breathe, even with all those spare mouths she has in her bag.

o Nobody is allowed to light a match in the studio on the off-chance that Brittney’s wooden acting skills catch on fire. They don’t.

o The girls get tired quickly, despite Amanda saying that “we had to give it extra energy, so that it looks like normal energy on TV”. The same way that dogs look like horses on TV, so they have to use guinea pigs on roller skates instead of dogs. I read that somewhere.


• I don’t know about you, but I freaking love Jessica. Not in the same let’s-make-apple-turnovers-and-dance-in-the-kitchen way that I love Amanda, but more in a let’s-go-to-the-university-coffee-house-and-laugh-at-people-who-still-think-Capote-is-relevant way. Bitch is all smart and funny and crap.

Josh-Flinn-As-Danny-Zuko announces that this week the modules will be doing their first fashion editorial shoot – an eight-page accessories feature for Cosmo - which excites them no end. Know how I know they’re excited? Sophie, would you do the honours, please?

 While in hair and make-up, the girls are introduced to Cosmo editor Bronwyn McCahon and stylist Nicole Adolphe, who says that there’ll be an extra element to the shoot – live, unpredictable animals! Take it away, Sophie.

Girl could eat bowling balls for a living.

• In walks a dude wrapped in a python. Out go the contents of Joanna’s bowels.

• Today’s photographer is Richard Freeman, who confirms my belief that it’s my destiny to start a photographer colony in my pants.

• Kelsey-as-lesbian-biker in pleather and chains does well, but is completely out-posed by Jackson the alligator. Mind you, he’s wearing real leather. She also performs well when she’s handed a piglet on a leash. But I mean, who doesn’t?

• Sssophie’s face looks stunning, even when juxtaposed with pythons and goldfish, and Bronwyn remarks that she’s “totally a Cosmo girl”. An ice-fisherman in Antarctica stops treating his frostbite for a moment, looks up, and says “You think?’.

• Joanna is extremely unsure about posing with a python, but eventually warms to it, possibly because the snake’s tail spends most of the shoot in her crotch. Later, posing with the owl, I still don’t get it. Even the owl says “WHO?”.* She gets upset about not doing fantastically well, and Josh tells her to grow up a bit in his leather jacket, slicked hair and neck-chain. I’m pretty sure I also hear him sing about being stranded at the drive-in.

• You know how animals have that uncanny knack of knowing when people are possessed by demons? They also seem to freak out when they encounter intense awesome. Amanda faces a hissing alligator and a squealing pig. This show is so much like my life it’s not funny. Except that it’s pretty goddamn funny.

• Can you imagine any way possible that a giraffe would look good in a turban? No? Brittney is wearing a turban. She poses with a macaw on her shoulder, and instead of saying “Polly wants a cracker”, it promptly deposits a streak of creamy faeces down Brittney’s back. Josh suggests that maybe the bird was critiquing Brittney’s performance. IT’S EPISODE SIX, JOSH. The world has been waiting for you to get your bitch on, and it comes now, halfway through the series? Still, a parrot crapping on a model is seriously as good a time as any. Five points.

• Kathryn, in black-and-white accessories, is unceremoniously leg-humped by a Dalmatian. I want to kiss this show on the mouth and show it my boobs.

• Jessica takes her turn in the turban, because apparently somebody thinks it’s a good idea to make the top of her head look even bigger than her chin. She doesn’t truly rock it until she gets her turn with the Dalmatian, though, and gets scratches on her leg for her trouble. Jessica, you are hardcore, and therefore I have a margarita and some film noir waiting for you at the coffee house. See you soon.

• Josh sums up the difficulty of the shoot by saying “You had to work with an unpredictable creature that doesn’t necessarily care that they’re on a Cosmo shoot”. IT’S JUST LIKE KIMBERLY’S STILL HERE, YOU GUYS.


Finally the girls make their way to the Eliminarium, where they’re greeted by Saint Sarah, who only just makes it in time after flying in from an interview circuit espousing Photo Shoot Rights For Jug Goldfish And Leash Piglets. She introduces the judges, including guest Bronwyn McCahon, Charlotte Dawson (who I would say looks like she’s dressed as the Emerald City including two domes, but I’m currently on a road trip with her and she’s looking over my shoulder so let’s just say she looks stunning), Shiny Alex Perry (who in his crisp white shirt looks like a waiter who serves golf balls and squint), and Chest Smith, who is in a round-necked t-shirt. Round-necked. With absolutely no chest visible. Guy is like a nipple roller coaster.

The modules mostly look great, except for Kathryn, who has come dressed for her school semi-formal in a dress with a big white boob-bow. You know how you never hear anyone use the phrase “she looked enchanting in her big white boob-bow dress”?. Yeah. That.

Saint Sarah lists the prizes, which I think this year include a lolly necklace and a book of Sudoku puzzles, and then leads her fellow judges into some picture-looky and deliberation, with some dainty nuggets:

• Jez is irritated by the fact that, in Kathryn’s owl shot, the handbag the owl is sitting on isn’t perfectly symmetrical. Dawson cuts him down with “Oh, yeah. You always have an owl sitting on your handbag”. See what happens when you wear a high-necked shirt, Chest? See?!

• Chest says that the blank look in Kelsey’s eyes in her alligator shot is ‘almost reptilian’. He’s of course thinking of the One Eye Bigger Than The Other Short-Arse Lizard.

• When Shiny Alex Perry hears about Joanna’s post-challenge sook and post-shoot tears, he says “It almost sounds like a tantrum. Like you had a little tanty”, and that her reaction made her seem “decidedly un-pretty”. Exactly how insensitive would it be if I high-fived Shiny Alex at this point? Anyone?

• Charlotte tells Joanna she “filled the frame with fab”. I personally think that she marinated the Minolta with meh. I think she’s pretty. I think she’s talented. I just don’t understand the drooling she elicits from everyone. Is that weird?

Eventually the girls follow Kathryn’s giant boob-bow back into the room, and Saint Sarah calls out names one by one until only Kathryn and Brittney are left. Brittney is told that she’s improving, but that the competition is tough and her life-experience is lacking. Kathryn learns that she’s beautiful, but possibly too fragile to cut it in the modelling world. Sixteen minutes pass, and Brittney is pushed off the cliff. That’s a pretty big bloody splash.

Bye, Brittney! Don’t forget to duck under the normal-person-sized door on your way out!

Next week, I won't be half-pissed in the country with Dawson, so I'll be better placed to tell you what happens next week.

*Seriously. Send my application form for the Pun Olympics.

We're On A Road To Mudgee #3

In which tasty things come on sunshiny plates

Sometimes in life, it just needs to be all about food.

Oh, you know I’m kidding.


And wine, a little bit.

Seriously – we’re barely halfway through the first day of our trip, and it’s like local produce is jumping out of the ground, sprinting towards us, and plonking itself on our plates.

As such, for our meals on this trip, I figure I’ll let restaurant decor and dishes speak for themselves. Because it’s not always about Charlotte and me.

Oh, you know I’m kidding.


Cobblestone Lane in Bathurst is a gorgeously understated spunk of a restaurant – warm wood, pale walls, a welcoming soft clamour and obediently slanted sunshine flooding through the windows. Our waitress was so efficient and unobtrusive that we forgot to ask her name, so Thingy-Whatsit? Thanks for everything.

If you can't read it properly, it just says 'awesome, awesome, awesome'.

Nothing makes a lady happier than that first glass of wine.

Apparently they serve water as well as wine. Who knew?

Staff here are awesome, especially when back-lit.

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

Smoked Rainbow Trout Chowder (Dawson won the entree round with this one)
Grain fed beef fillet, potato galette & shallot jus

Vincisgrassi (I learned a new word!) - Mushroom & grana padano lasagna with tomato & basil coulis

Banana & toffee pudding with chai caramel. Wipe your chin.
Citrus tart with vanilla cream.

Thanks, Thingy-Whatsit! You were tops.

I do hope nobody's upset if we come back five kilos heavier. Because that's totally going to happen.